Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner. Over the last few years, the holiday has earned a reputation as one of the most dangerous days to be on the road. According to a 2021 AutoInsurance.org report, Cinco de Mayo is now ranked as the fifth most dangerous holiday for driving. That’s up five spots from the previous year, and it’s earned that spot due to the high frequency of drunk driving-related fatal crashes.
Being involved in a drunk driving accident can completely change your life, regardless of your role. If you’re the drunk driver, you could be looking at license suspension, fines, and possibly jail time on top of a potential lawsuit from the person you hit. If a drunk driver hits and injures you, no doubt you’ll deal with physical and emotional trauma. After you’ve sought out medical attention, you may want to consider legal action.
Being injured in a drunk driving accident entitles you to compensatory damages and possibly even punitive damages. The compensatory damages will help you receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, physical injuries and pain, and even inconvenience. Punitive damages penalize the defendant for their actions and are paid in addition to any compensatory damages.
Not everyone involved in a drunk driving accident is eligible for punitive damages. In 1994, the Virginia legislature introduced a law that made proving punitive damage claims more uniform from case to case. In order for a plaintiff to pursue a punitive damage claim, three criteria have to be met.
The first is that the defendant’s blood alcohol content at the time of the crash meets or exceeds .15%. Second, the defendant knew or should have known their ability to operate a vehicle would be impaired. And third, the defendant’s intoxication was the cause of the plaintiff’s injury or death.
Being involved in a drunk driving accident can change your life permanently. If you’re in need of representation, please give our office a call.